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Morocco & Western Sahara
Morocco & Western Sahara, 19-28 June 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

Barbary Macaque


Tempted by the possibilities of Sand Cats and other exotic mammals of the night, this nine-day trip had two main goals: (i) mammals across the region, and (ii) a sampling on the seawatching off Cap Rhir, north of Agadir. The trip was a remarkable success with 17 species of mammal recorded, including Sand Cat and Barbary Macaque, and seawatching that far exceeded my expectations, the absolute highlights being no less than 14 White-faced Storm Petrels and 15 Barolo Shearwaters.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 August 2015 )
Morocco & Western Sahara, 10 Dec 2006 - 7 Jan 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

For a month of travel, Morocco and the Western Sahar were my venues, a fantastic month of wandering the deserts and mountains from Marrakech southward. Seeing the majority of target birds and specialities, the sites visited included many of the famous localities, such as Merzouga, the Tagdilt Track and Oued Massa, plus a trip down into the far south of Western Sahara.

For convenience of reading, I have divided this report into two halves: 

Fulvous Babbler


The Southern Loop - two weeks with a rented car, covering the classic Moroccan birding localities from the Sahara in the east, the High Atlas mountains and the coastal spots north and south of Agadir.

Western Sahara and Coastal Birding - all by public transport or hitch-hiking, the second two weeks of the trip saw me exploring the lesser known parts of Western Sahara, travelling as far south as Dakhla, a bare whisper from the Tropic of Cancer. With time to spare, I also revisited all the well-known coastal spots north and south of Agadir.


Last Updated ( Friday, 03 July 2015 )
Part One: Morocco, the Southern Loop PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

Trumpeter FinchFollowing the well-trodden path of many a generation of birder, my month in Morocco began with a loop southward from Marrakech, crossing the snow-ladden mountains of the High Atlas, enjoying the fantastic desert sites at Merzouga and Tagdilt, before crossing the country to reach the bird-rich Sous Valley and thereafter the Atlantic coast.  Covering 3700 km in total and all via the relative luxury of a rented car, these first two weeks of the trip were just one highlight after another - Desert Sparrows at Merzouga, Mourning Wheatear near Ouarzazate, Bald Ibises at Tamri and Crimson-winged Finches in the mountains to mention just a handful. But Morocco is Morocco, a fantastic all round birding locality, the overriding memory of these first two weeks being simply excellent birding everywhere.


Last Updated ( Saturday, 26 January 2008 )
Part Two: Western Sahara, plus coast revisited. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jos   

Moussier's Redstart, femaleRarely visited and little known, this arid portion of the world does not feature on the itinerary of many birders. The reasons are not difficult to understand - as well as the simmering military conflict and the almost total lack of birding information, there is also the issue of distances ...they are vast, everywhere is very far from everywhere else!  

For the adventurous birder though, the attraction is clear -  Dakhla in particular, and the southern deserts in general, offer the possibility of birds more typical of the Afrotropics. Royal Tern is near guaranteed and Black-crowned Finchlark have been recorded, reasons enough to see me travelling the 1400 km south to the Tropic of Cancer, about as far south as you can go without actually entering Mauritania.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 May 2007 )